5 Types of SEO for Businesses

Learn about the five types of SEO that businesses can use to boost their search engine rankings, including on-page, off-page, technical, enterprise, and local SEO.
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    Abbey Stephan Lead Editor
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  • October 27, 2023
  • 12 min. read

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps businesses of all industries, sizes, and backgrounds get more recognition in search engines. But what are the types of SEO, and which ones should you try to get the most impact?

We will break down the following five different types of SEO, followed by an FAQ:

Read more to learn about each one!

1. On page

On-page SEO relies on optimizations made on your website to increase your site’s ranking in search engines. You have complete control over on-page SEO tactics, as they all occur on your website.

Examples of on-page SEO include:

Who needs on-page SEO

All businesses should use some form of on-page SEO to get results for their campaign. Since you have the most control over on-page SEO factors, you should try to focus on these and get your site up to standards. Plus, many of them are free to do, so you can change them on your own.

How to do on-page SEO

Since on page SEO comprises everything you do on your website, there are plenty of ways to use it. In general, you should focus on the following points.

Create content

Content is the backbone of any website. Without content, your website would be a blank page!

If you are wondering why your website doesn’t drive leads, you can start by creating content for various purposes to capture leads from all stages of the sales process. Be informational and educational while also providing all the details they need on your products and services.

Here are some example content types:

For example, an education business could create the following:

  • Product or service pages for its offerings, like tutoring and study guides
  • About page to explain the company’s beginnings, purpose, and value
  • Blog posts to attract top-of-the-funnel traffic, like how to manage test anxiety

Need help with content? Don’t worry! Content marketing services can help with content strategy, development, optimization, and more.


Improve your navigation

Having a navigable website will make it easier for users and search engines to move around your website. You can encourage people to stick around and show search engines that your website is helpful to users.

A clear, organized header with simple navigation is the best option for most businesses:

AT&T navigation bar with simple category links

This organization will vary depending on your industry.

Add images and videos

Images and videos are key to spicing up your content, and they help boost SEO. Having effective images on your page helps with overall design, and Google will reward you as people linger and look at your pages more.

You can use images to break up content in blog posts or even to intrigue with buttons and links:

Construction-related images above page links

Use keywords effectively

Your keywords tell Google — and users — what your website is about. You should spend time researching and adding keywords to your pages to help you rank for relevant terms.

Adding keywords to your title and content can help Google pull the right pages:

Search results for "coffee recipes at home," which include variations of the keyword in the title

Shoot to have your keyword in your title, meta description, and content.

2. Off page

Off-page SEO relies on optimizations outside of your website to boost your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs). You have less control over off-page SEO tactics since they are outside of your website’s domain, and some pertain to other businesses.

Examples of off-page SEO include:

  • Backlinks
  • Social media
  • Content marketing
  • Guest content

Who needs off-page SEO

All businesses should try to boost their off-page SEO however possible. Off-page SEO is key to making your website appear credible to Google. Backlinks specifically can increase your credibility and give Google a reason to boost your rankings in the SERPs.

How to do off-page SEO

Off-page SEO encompasses fewer changes on your end than on-page SEO. Below are a few ways of using it that you can focus on:

Share your site through social media

Social media is one type of off-page SEO that you have control over. You can use social media services or start your own social campaign that directs users to your website, whether to your product pages or something else.

Even adding a link to your website in your bio can help users find you and shop:

Instagram profile for Chamberlain Coffee, with a link to the website in their bio

Earn backlinks from other websites

Backlinks are critical for ranking. Backlinks are when another reputable website links to your content. You want to get as many backlinks as you can, but quality matters over quantity.

To get backlinks, you could:

  • Find broken links on other sites and ask them to replace it with a link to you
  • Write guest content
  • Create content that garners links naturally

3. Technical

Technical SEO is a set of website and server changes that make it easier for crawlers and users to access your site. This type of SEO incorporates different backend approaches that affect how users interact with your website.

Who needs technical SEO

Again, since technical SEO is so crucial to improving your site’s function, every business needs to incorporate some strategies for their website. Now, you don’t need to be a tech professional to incorporate technical SEO — there are plenty of technical SEO tools and guides to help you.

Plus, if you still feel stuck, you can hire an SEO or web developer expert to help you with technical SEO services.

How to do technical SEO

Technical SEO will only encompass backend changes that make your site better. Here are some ways to use it in your plan:

Submit a sitemap to Google

As we discussed, navigation is critical to SEO. With that, you can create something called a sitemap — a detailed map of all the pages on your website. There are two types — HTML and XML.

An HTML sitemap is just a page with links to all other pages on your site for users to access:

Sitemap with expandable product categories

The more relevant one is an XML sitemap, which is a file that outlines every page that exists on your site. You can create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google to help crawlers find and index your pages, giving them a better chance at ranking.

Use meta descriptions on all pages

Meta descriptions are HTML code that describes what your page is about in the SERPs:

Search result with a description of the page below the title

These descriptions help users understand what they’re clicking on before they do, which boosts user experience (UX) and better matches search intent. Google also uses these descriptions to see what your page is about and rank it accordingly.

Improve your page speed

Page speed is how fast your page loads. Users don’t want to wait around for pages and images to load, and Google will penalize slow-moving sites.

There are a few factors that can go into your page speed, but compressing your images and making sure you use a quality server are essential. Site speed tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights let you check your page speed for free. If you’re wondering how to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights for SEO, all you need to do is navigate to the tool, enter your website, and hit analyze.

Results for a Core Web Vitals Assessment on Google's PageSpeed Insights

4. Enterprise

Enterprise SEO is specific to companies who need a large-scale approach to their website. Enterprise SEO accounts for the different types of SEO listed above and applies them to companies that reach hundreds or thousands of clients on a national level.

Who needs enterprise SEO

Enterprise SEO services are for large-scale companies that serve clients across a national or regional level. Since you are trying to reach as many leads as possible, you need a particular strategy that accounts for a wider audience that regular SEO might not consider.

How to do enterprise SEO

So, how can you use enterprise SEO? Here are a few different ways:

Try content marketing

Content marketing is the process of creating content for all stages of the buyers’ journey. With content marketing, you can build brand awareness and earn more traffic to your website, which helps Google see you as a reliable source of information.

Since you want to capture as many leads as possible with enterprise SEO, you should focus on creating content that appeals to your wide target audience. Some examples include:

  • Infographics
  • Quizzes and surveys
  • Studies and research
  • Social media posts
  • Newsletters
  • Videos

Build an efficient site architecture

Since you likely have an expansive website, you must focus on making it easy to use. Once people land on your site, where will they go? What’s the next move? Think of these questions as you organize your pages.

Site architecture and navigation go hand in hand — with so many pages, you need to be able to find them all easily or search for them.

5. Local

Local SEO is specific to smaller companies or those that only serve one geographic region. Companies use SEO to reach customers and leads in their area without appealing to those outside of their service frame.

Who needs local SEO

Local SEO is for companies who want to rank for specific areas. Many small businesses use local SEO services to help them stand out from the competition in their city. An example is local SEO for recreation businesses such as arcades or campgrounds. Local SEO is important for only finding leads in your area that can take advantage of your products or services.

Another example is using local SEO for heavy equipment distributors who want to sell machines to potential customers near them.

How to do local SEO

Finally, how can you use local SEO if you need to reach a particular audience? Here are a few ways:

Do local keyword research

Local keywords target a specific area or use location metrics to see where a user is searching. Google wants to show the most relevant results, so it will match the pages to the location:

Search results for "coffee near Harrisburg, PA," which all include a variation of the location and keyword in the title

Incorporate local keywords into your website and pages to show Google what area you serve.

Create your Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile helps you land in local listings and give users the most important information about your company right in the SERPs. With this setup, you will appear in local results like this:

List of coffee shops next to a map showing where they are

Think of this profile as the online listing for your website. Users might not make it to your website, but they can see your phone number, reviews, hours of operation, and more, all from one place.

Publish local-oriented content

Finally, the last way to use local SEO is to create locally-focused content. Write pages about other businesses and events in the area, or talk about your favorite spots in the community:

Page about "Coffee Shops in HBG"

These pages will:

  • Help visitors as they research the area
  • Let you connect with other businesses
  • Show readers that they can trust your opinion
  • Make you seem more accessible


Let’s answer a few questions on the different types of SEO (for more FAQs, check out our SEO FAQs resource):

Which type of SEO is best?

There is no one best type of SEO. It all depends on your company and needs. If you are following white-hat protocols and being upfront with your approach, you should have no problems.

As mentioned above, each type of SEO targets a different area on (or off) your site. That means you will need multiple campaigns, teams, and approaches to target them all, and you will get better results and rankings in return.

How many types of SEO are there?

There are five types of SEO — on-page, off-page, technical, local, and enterprise. Each one has a specific purpose and application that gives your site the best chance at ranking and generating new, qualified leads.

There are other more niche types of SEO, but generally, all SEO focuses can fit within the five types mentioned above.

How can I check my on-page and off-page SEO?

You can use SEO Checker, our free SEO Checker tool that gives you a complete audit of your site’s current search engine optimization (SEO) performance and a custom report with all the details such as: on-page and off-page SEO, technical SEO, and local SEO. Understand your site’s SEO score, performance and get custom recommendations for improving your rankings and traffic with this free tool.

Do I need all five types of SEO?

You likely only need four of the five types of SEO listed. Most companies use on-page, off-page, and technical SEO and then choose between local and enterprise SEO depending on company size and location. However, you might need all five types to make SEO worth it.

If you want to learn more about SEO, you can check out more articles here on SEO.com and keep learning which types and tactics are right for your business.

Headshot of a smiling woman, long reddish hair with bangs.
Abbey is a digital marketer, copywriter, and lead editor. She has worked on over 200 client campaigns and WebFX, and she specializes in marketing strategy analysis and industry-specific digital marketing plans. Outside of writing and editing, you’ll likely find her taking pictures of her cat, making a new playlist, or tending to her houseplants.

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